• Author

    Steve Rabin is a 30-year game industry veteran, specializing in CPU optimization. He has worked on games for Microsoft, Activision, Nintendo, and Electronic Arts. His Nintendo CPU Profiler helped devs optimize games for the Wii, Wii U, 3DS, and Nintendo Switch platforms, with nine issued patents on performance analysis and visualization. His breakthrough work on A* pathfinding led to a 1000x speed improvement over standard A* on grids.

  • Features

    The 144 card Code Optimization DevDeck can be used with any programming language and contains:

    • 24 Data Cards
    • 26 Algorithm Cards
    • 50 Code Cards
    • 27 Knowledge Cards
    • 7 Whoops! Cards
    • 4 Exercise Cards
    • 5 Focus Cards
    • 1 Author Card
  • Full Package

    Every deck comes with a case for transporting the cards and for displaying the cards on your desk. The case allows the cards to sit upright and make it easy to access the cards whenever the mood strikes you. These are not flash cards. They are meant to inspire and be used to fight for every clock cycle.

It's an Obsession

There's nothing quite like challenging yourself to make your code just a little bit faster. But what really excites me are the big wins when you completely rethink the problem and discover a radically more efficient way to speed up the code. Collecting and assembling every single possible trick and technique to make code faster was an absolute blast and I'm grateful to be able to share this collection with you.

  • The Inspiration

    I have been writing and editing game development books for 20 years, such as the Game AI Pro series, but I wanted to do something new. I was inspired by The Art of Game Design card deck by Jesse Schell. Making my own card deck allowed me to combine my fascination of code optimization with my obsession to write down every trick and boil it down to its essence. As a part-time Computer Science lecturer for the last 20 years, I wanted to create something engaging for students and practitioners alike. But above all, I wanted to create something insanely useful and inspirational.

  • The Art

    For many years I was stuck with trying to make the card art myself. While I can muddle through, it was really generative AI and Midjourney that allowed me to complete this project at the quality level that I demanded. To date, I have generated over 4000 images over the last 1.5 years to finish this project. I would relentlessly improve the art and insist that each card is visually engaging as well as informative. I believe that beautiful things are so much more interesting and delightful.

  • The Craftsmanship

    I am not interested in cutting corners or cost. The material quality of the cards are of utmost importance so that they are vivid, durable, and feel really good to handle and hold. The cards are printed on S33 Superior Smooth Black Core Extra Smooth Finish which is considered to be one of the finest playing card stocks available. This increases the cost of each deck considerably, but it's the only way I'll have it. I also insist on including a stand to hold the cards so they can be at your fingertips. It's worth it if it increases the chance that you actively use these cards to make great things happen.